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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Georgia Men Sentenced for Recruiting Local Homeless Men in Check Cashing Ring

Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Shrerod Terry, age 37, and Akram H. Muhammad, age 37, both of Atlanta, Georgia, were sentenced today in federal court in Greenville, for conspiracy to negotiate counterfeit checks, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Senior United States District Judge Henry M. Herlong of Greenville imposed a 15-month sentence for Terry and a 24-month sentence for Muhammad. He ordered the men to pay over $23,000 in restitution.

Evidence from the change of plea hearing established that Terry and Muhammad traveled from Atlanta, Georgia, to Greenville. The men went to “Tent City,” a known location in Greenville for homeless people. Terry and Muhammad proceeded to recruit homeless people to cash counterfeit checks for them. Terry and Muhammad would provide the homeless recruits with clean clothes, a place to wash up, and then would take them to various banks to negotiate the counterfeit checks. The activities of the duo were first discovered by deputies with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office when conducting a traffic stop. A K-9 alerted on the vehicle and a small quantity of marijuana was discovered during a search. While looking for additional drugs, deputies discovered counterfeit checks and called Inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for assistance. Law enforcement estimates that Terry and Muhammad used homeless people to cash $23,159.56 in counterfeit checks before they were apprehended.

The case was investigated by deputies of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.

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Updated February 12, 2015